This page is dedicated to professionals who have served the concrete fiber industry before us.
Jim Speakman was one of the first marketers of synthetic fiber reinforced concrete, as well as being the leader in bringing natural fiber (cellulose) reinforced concrete to the industry. Jim initiated the movement that led to the organizing of the Synthetic Fiber Association, now known as the Fiber Reinforced Concrete Association. His proudest and most overall beneficial accomplishment was being a key promoter in the development of the Concrete Industry Management program at Middle Tennessee State University, which originated in 1996 with its first two graduates in 2000, and which now has had over 1,000 graduates to-date. With the development of the Fiber Reinforced Concrete Association in 2005 and the progression of the Concrete Industry Management program, Jim was able to join the two in a way that has been mutually supportive and has proven to be invaluable to the concrete industry in many ways.
Pete began his extensive concrete career in 1963 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, followed by 14 years with Lehigh Cement. Pete began his focus toward steel fiber reinforced concrete in 1979 with Bekaert Corporation, then moved to Novocon International until his retirement. Pete’s influence on the fiber-reinforced concrete industry was considerable in a variety of organizations, including the American Concrete Institute, ASTM, and the American Shotcrete Association. His efforts to contribute to the creation of fiber-reinforced standards and specifications were unparalleled, and critical to the growth of the FRC industry. Named an ACI Fellow in 1999, Pete was a tireless advocate and ambassador for fiber-reinforced concrete for over 30 years.
Mel was a ‘hands-on’ field technician for Fibermesh®, acting as a Concrete Specialist and Sales Engineer, and was a fiber concrete consultant even later in retirement. Mel loved to work, especially when it came to experimenting with concrete fibers, such as guiding efforts towards the use of fiber reinforced panels in controlled-blast exposure conditions. Although kind in his demeanor, Mel was a strong-willed and commanding individual who always enjoyed a good debate. Mel served graciously on multiple ACI and ASTM committees. His personal interests included family fun and performance cars. His early pioneering work in the fiber-reinforced concrete industry provided direction of many of the fundamentals and practices that are still used today.
With over 35 years at FORTA®, Jeff Lovett was instrumental in the development and growth of the first synthetic fiber reinforcement company in the United States, and as such, had produced fibers for concrete longer than anyone else in the world. His innovations in fiber and packaging technology set numerous industry standards, and resulted in his inventor status for 7 issued patents, with additional patents pending at the time of his death. Larger than his professional accomplishments were his engaging personality and permanent smile that created friendships and lasting relationships around the world.
Dennis was a proud father, husband and U.S. Marine who loved his family, country and concrete. Dennis both started and ended his public career in concrete, beginning with the Illinois DOT Concrete Materials Division for 8 years. Dennis also spent 10 years with Master Builders (BASF) as Director of Public Works projects, and 5 years with the American Concrete Pavement Association as Marketing Director and President of the Materials Division. Dennis continued his concrete career with the Fibermesh Company (Propex), leading their marketing efforts while promoting the use of fibers to the concrete industry as a whole. Dennis was one of the first directors of the SnFRCA, now known as the Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Association. His constant vision was for fiber companies to work together to promote fiber-reinforced concrete technology.
George began his career with his family at Mitchell Industries in Pittsburgh, PA, founded by his father. He, along with his father and brother, Nick, purchased U.S. Steel Fibercon from the U.S. Steel Corporation in 1980. Together, they grew the business into one of the leading international companies for steel fiber reinforcement. George ran the company as President for 25 years. In addition, George volunteered for the Parkinson’s Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and served as President for five years to provide service, support, and education to those living with Parkinson’s disease and their families.